Of the eleven players who attended the “Transition to Association Croquet” course, six were able to compete in the Novices Day competition. The aim was to give players a chance to play a few complete games in a mini-tournament whilst being supported by mentors.
The format was that each entrant will play four 14 point games on half sized courts to Short Croquet Laws.
The games were timed to 1¼ hours with each having 9½ bisques for each game. Ian Wilson, Tony Backhouse, Tony Jennings, Russell Moore and Des Honey joined the players to act as mentors, to answer their queries on the laws, sequence of play, stroke making and tactics.
Des managed his first tournament, arranging the order of play using the Swiss system.
As the day improved from a cloudy, damp start to sunshine in the afternoon, so did the performance of the players.
It was quite noticeable that their tentative start to their first game of Association Croquet gradually improved as they gained experience and understanding. Break building using bisques was achieved as was the confidence to discuss the stroke options with the mentors.
Eventually, Liz emerged as the overall winner, based on the number of games won. The small spread in the totals of hoops run by each player demonstrated the closeness in their performance throughout the tournament.
At the end it was agreed that all had found it an enjoyable day and we look forward to them continuing their transition to Association in the future.